Moscow turns green for St. Patrick’s Day
Russians love holidays - even those of other countries and cultures. One of their favourites is St. Patrick's Day, with official celebrations being an annual tradition in Moscow since 1992.
Many Muscovites consider this originally religious holiday to be the "day of Irish-Russian friendship, because we have so much in common".
St. Patrick's Day falls on March 17, but Moscow's 18th annual parade is to be held on Sunday, March 21, with the participation and support of Mayor Yury Luzhkov, Irish ambassador to Russia Philip McDonagh and president of the Irish Business Club, Avril Conroy.
This year the parade's route has been changed from the traditional Ulitsa Novy Arbat to the wider Bolshaya Dorogomilovskaya Ulitsa, on the other side of the river, near the Kievskaya metro station.
From midday, musicians, dancers, fairytale characters and jolly people dressed in green are to parade along the street to the square outside the Evro pei sky shopping center, where performances are to take place in front of a tribune for VIP guests.
Last year, some 40,000 people turned out for the parade.
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated not only in Moscow but also in St. Petersburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Chelyabinsk, Krasnoyarsk and many other Russian towns. Some Russian fans are even going to Ireland to celebrate, with one saying: "As we are enjoying St. Patrick's Day in Moscow later, on March 21, I suggest all Irish people come to Moscow to continue having fun after the 17th."